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Van Morrison – Blowin’ Your Mind


AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Although Van Morrison’s first solo album is remembered for containing the immortal pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl,” Blowin’ Your Mind! is actually a dry run for his masterpiece, Astral Weeks. Songs like “Who Drove the Red Sports Car” look to that song cycle, even as “Midnight Special” nods to Morrison’s R&B past. But it’s the agonizing “T.B. Sheets” — all nine-plus minutes of it — that dominates this record and belies its trendy title and pop association. “T.B. Sheets” takes the blues and reinvents it as noble tragedy and humiliating mortality. It’s where Van Morrison emerges as an artist. [Blowin’ Your Mind! was superseded in 1991 by Bang Masters, which contains all of its tracks except “He Ain’t Give You None,” presented in an alternate take, plus Morrison’s other recordings for Bang.]

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With all the back and forth among the rock ’n’ roll and blues scenes between the USA and Europe, the nationality of the individual musicians tends to become obscured. In fact, guessing nationalities might provide a fun afternoon for quiz fans. While the country (or rather island) of origin of Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton might not be too difficult to guess, the name Van Morrison might pose more of a problem. Or it certainly would have done, had not the New York cult magazine Crème dubbed him the “Cowboy from Belfast”.
When the New World had more or less overcome the “British Invasion” and was just starting to rediscover its own musical roots, Morrison began to feel at home there and signed a solo recording contract with the New York producer and songwriter Bert Berns in 1967. Four singles were released, of which the first, Brown Eyed Girl, was an immediate hit. As though Berns could have foreseen his early death in December 1967, he released Blowin’ Your Mind without asking Morrison’s consent and so laid the foundation stone for his protégée’s lengthy discography. This, his very first album, is full of easy-going songs which reach back to rhythm and blues, but there are also numbers which are filled with weighty apathy – songs which already reveal the characteristic musical genes of the »greatest white blues singer« (John Lee Hooker).


Brown Eyed Girl Morrison
He Ain’t Give You None
T.B. Sheets
Spanish Rose
Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)
Ro Ro Rosey
Who Drove The Red Sports Car
Midnight Special


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Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm